Jamaican Jerk Roasted Veggies

I found this cute little spice shop online that uses organic, natural spices and have really enjoyed their combinations. So, I decided to try making my own blends up. My favorite was our Cajun blend – cayenne, thyme, oregano, fennel, paprika, cumin, mustard and white pepper. But I ran out today! So I thought it was time I tried out the Jamaican Jerk I had put together. The blend is: thyme, allspice, ginger, cayenne, paprika, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon and white pepper. The smell is invigorating. It has a spicy, sweet flavor with lots of depth.

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Jamaican Jerk Roasted Veggies

(for a large family – 10 people sized)

  • 8 organic Russet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 bunches broccoli, chopped
  • 4-5 cups black beans (I soak and then cook these up in bulk and then freeze it in ready to grab quart bags)
  • 3 colorful carrots, chopped
  • Jamaican Jerk seasoning
  • Pink Salt
  • Tallow, Coconut oil or butter

Method:

  1. Put potatoes in one large casserole dish and the veggies in another.
  2. Throw in 3 big scoops of your choice of fat on each pan.
  3. Sprinkle salt until well coated.
  4. Sprinkle the seasoning very lightly – it’s pretty spicy, and you can always add more spice if you want later.
  5. Bake the potatoes first in a preheated oven at 385 for about 30 minutes.
  6. Then add the veggie dish to the oven and stir the potatoes. Bake another 30 minutes. Stir every 15 min or so to help evenly spread cooking and seasonings.
  7. Taste veggies to see if they’re done, bake longer if necessary; add salt or seasoning to desired taste.
  8. Either serve with potatoes on bottom and then veggies on top, or next to each other.
  9. Could add a garnish of soured cream. ENJOY!

Real Ice Cream (Recipes)

Ice cream is pretty much a staple dessert around here. We had to get two ice cream makers to accommodate our ice cream loving family. Most people love chocolate here, but we do have a vanilla fan, too. I also like to make my ice cream with fresh goat milk and only raw honey for a weight loss friendly treat. I also don’t like to use a ton of cream in our recipe, since we have ice cream almost every night, that would be extremely expensive. We use our whole, raw milk instead. Here are our standard recipes:

Chocolate Ice Cream

for a 1/2 gallon ice cream maker

Put all ingredients into the Blendtec (or similar):

  • 5 1/2 cups raw, organic milk
  • 1 cup sucanat
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • dash of pink salt
  • 2/3 cup cocoa

Mix on first setting for 30 seconds (after mixing, I like to taste it to make sure it’s just the way I like it); follow ice cream maker’s direction to finish.

Vanilla Ice Cream

for 1/2 gallon ice cream maker

Put all ingredients into Blendtec:

  • 5 1/2 cup raw, organic milk
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/3 cup sucanat
  • 1 Tb real vanilla extract or 2 vanilla bean caviar
  • dash of pink salt

Mix for 30 seconds on low setting, follow ice cream maker’s directions.

Chocolate Ice Cream – goat milk and raw honey

  • 5 1/2 cups raw organic goat milk
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/2-3/4 cup raw honey
  • dash of stevia and pink salt

Mix in blender for 30 seconds and finish off in the ice cream maker.

It’s great to have desserts that are nourishing and healthy as well as tasty. Enjoy!

Transitioning Baby to Solids

When should I start my baby on solids? What should he eat? This is a common topic among mothers, especially if one is new to the Traditional Foods way of eating.

I heartily agree with most everything in the Nourishing a Growing Baby article from the Weston A. Price Foundation; with the caveat that all these foods should be started when the baby is almost 1 year of age and not at 4 months. If you have not read this article and have asked this question, it truly is a MUST read.

Pay close attention to the end of this quote (from the Nourishing a Growing Baby article):

“Meats will help ensure adequate intake of iron, zinc, and protein with the decrease in breast milk and formula.” (emphasis added)

This article assumes that a mother is DECREASING in nursing or bottle feeding. Why in the world would I want to start preparing all these time consuming foods for a baby that I can still breast-feed 24/7? If for some reason, one is unable to continue breast-feeding or is not able to, then I can understand the need for starting earlier. Otherwise, if the mother’s diet contains all these nutrient-dense foods, I strongly believe waiting until baby’s first birthday before even beginning the process towards solids.

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Even when a baby starts to eat solids, it is not guaranteed that the baby will like egg yolks, liver, or what have you. This is where nursing comes in all the more handy. I can rest assured knowing that baby is getting all the nutrients he needs because of my diet and not necessarily from his.

As baby grows and is nursing less in the 1-2 year age range, or if the baby is not nursing at all anymore, I find it most useful to get them used to smoothies. I can put homemade yogurt in there, raw goat or cow milk, a little bit of sucanat, maple syrup (honey when over 2), and any superfoods I want to ensure he is getting all he needs. I like to add 1/8 tsp of moringa once or twice a week. I also like to get the growing tot used to eating a teaspoon of fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend off a spoon.

When babe is between 1-2 years of age, I like to make sourdough crackers with lots of butter and pink salt for a quick snack if need be on the go. Who needs goldfish when you can give your child a traditional, nutrient dense snack that takes hardly any time at all to make? Here’s the recipe I have come to love:

Mix 1 cup spelt flour, 1 cup starter, 1/4 cup softened coconut oil, tallow, or butter. Stir it all together and let sit overnight. Roll them out, brush with oil, sprinkle pink salt on top.  Bake at 350 until browned about 20-25 minutes.

This little person has a fresh start on life, why not start him out right? Loving real foods, nutrient dense foods, traditional foods.

Favorite Home Remedies

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when people eat a lot of sugar (refined flours are no exception), are indoors more (less time out in the fresh air), and less active. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. It’s great to have remedies for when one falls ill, but honestly, prevention is so much better than letting the guard down. Here are some keys to keeping the immune system primed and healthy to deal with all the bugs going around:

  • Avoid sugar and white stuff – sugar immobilizes the immune system. It essentially takes the good line of defense our body has against infection and shuts it down – probably not the best strategy.
  • Eat those ferments – probiotics in food form are invaluable – whether it’s kraut, kefir, yogurt, water kefir, kombucha, or anything else your family loves.
  • Good fats – get that fermented cod liver oil/butter oil out and use it liberally (Green Pasture is still my go-to brand).
  • Superfoods and Vitamin C Berry Powders – great to boost up the body systems, whether you like Moringa, Spirulina, Goji, or other Superberries (great post on how to make your own Vit C balls with berry powders), it’s good to have a line up of body builders.

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What if you still get sick after all that?! Well, there are plenty of good home remedies for beating the latest virus/bacteria. (Adult servings can be split in half for children when appropriate.)

  • Stomach Bugs: 1 Tb bentonite clay mixed in water twice daily for a couple days; or 5 drops of Digiz in a capsule twice daily for a couple days; drinking red raspberry leaf and peppermint tea constantly; if you think it’s food poisoning from eating out somewhere recently, then the activate charcoal 2 tsp in water twice daily for a couple days would do the trick.
  • Flu/Cold: 5 drops Thieves twice daily for 4-5 days; Colloidal Silver 1 tsp every 2 hours for 4-6 days; 1 tsp cinnamon powder in raw honey daily for 4 days; Anti-Plague remedy by Dr. Christopher (or Super Garlic) or the tea – fresh lemons, ginger, cayenne, raw apple cider vinegar, garlic cloves, horseradish – in some warm water- drinking it 5 times a day; more ideas in Be Your Own Doctor, too!
    • While healing, it’s helpful to:
    • Double up on probiotics
    • Double up on good fats – coconut oil, organic butter, cod liver oil, etc.
    • Homemade bone broth
    • Avoid all sugars and unfermented grains

God help us all to stay healthy and strong this upcoming winter season.

Dialogue for the Disgruntled

My oldest children were around 6-8 years of age when we really made the switch to complete whole foods and everything from scratch. The older ones (now 13-15) every once in a while take some convincing that we are doing the best thing for our health and family. I appreciate the food documentaries that are out there for these times. They help to convey my convictions and research in a sort of 3rd party unbiased fashion that opens them up for discussion.

We watched Food, Inc. (again) last night for the benefit of the older ones who did not quite remember it. They were so enraged at the parts discussing the practices of Monsanto and other large food conglomerates. And rightly so! We discussed how we are helping make a change – with the way we are eating. I explain that when we choose to support our local farmers, not eat conventionally processed meats or produce or grains, we are taking away their business. If enough people stop buying their defective and harmful products, they would go out of business or be forced to change. This is the power of the free market.

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Understanding why we don’t eat out at most restaurants or grab “fast food” when we are out also gives them more conviction and strength to stand by what we know to be good for us. It helps to give them vision, especially when their friends or peers make fun of them for eating “weird food” or not partaking in junk food. I feel badly for them when I hear of others making fun of them; but I know that this is part of growing up and gaining character. I don’t want to make their lives too comfortable that they do not mold true virtue and perseverance in the face of hardships. People will always have something negative to say, no matter how old you are, or where you go. But we do not have to respond in anger or rashly. We can take it as an opportunity to educate, pray and share our stories.

So if you have disgruntles mumbling about, try watching a food documentary and having an honest dialogue afterwards about it. I also like to share how we should treat all creatures and all of God’s creation with respect as He would want us to, as worthy stewards of the gifts He has given so richly. Discussing the flaws in our society today with our young people can only spark a brighter change for our future.

The Concept of True Healing

When dealing with any chronic problem or weaknesses in the body, most naturopathic minded professionals agree that the path towards true healing is 1) get rid of toxins and 2) nourish the body. Could it really be that simple? Yes! Our bodies are designed to heal themselves when given the right tools and also when the offending stumbling blocks are removed.

PART 1:

Abhorrant Toxins

In our chemical age, studies find that there are on average 287 toxins found in the umbilical cord of newborns. Wow! Children are starting off with toxic systems. Is it any wonder when our bodies start to fail us so much earlier than for our grandparents or great-grandparents? In a study on tap water, 316 contaminants were found, of which 202 are unregulated and 114 have some regulations (sourced from the Environmental Working Group). Toxins are found all over American homes:

  • VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) —— found in formaldehyde, fuel, solvents
  • PFCs (Perflourinated Compounds)—— as in teflon
  • Fire retardants ———————–found on furniture and some children’s clothing
  • POPs (Persistant Organic Pollutants) —– as in dioxines, DDT, DDE
  • Mercury and other Heavy Metals – in food, water, dental
  • Chemical byproducts
  • Antibiotics, pharma drugs
  • Pesticides, GMOs

Parasite/Worms

Gross, right? They are a very real problem. Most people have them if they aren’t on a clean lifestyle or have done a parasite cleanse. If one has had a compromised system at any time, then parasites and worms most definitely got in there. We are susceptible to these ever present pests when our bodies are weak, toxic, or mal-nourished. Having a Leaky Gut issue also compounds the issue as intruders are allowed through our natural defense system.  These guys do a whole lot of damage, too. They can get in the receptor sites and cause havoc. Their toxins and die-off cause malfunctions in organs as well. If one is trying to heal from a chronic issue, doing a parasite cleanse would be a vital part of the recovery.

Negative Emotions/Spiritual Baggage 

Having a positive attitude is more potent than most realize. It can truly make or break a person. Be real. Deal with conflict. Forgive the past.  Pray for wisdom, forgiveness, and healing. God can heal any broken heart – we just have to be willing to give it to Him.

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Part 2:

Nourishing the Body

In a land so full of substances that resemble food, it is almost unbelievable that our culture is so malnourished. Traditional foods that our ancestors ate were industrialized almost out of existence during the World Wars era. Thankfully, a spark is kindling all around the country as people are waking up and demanding to know more about their food. Food documentaries popping up are inspiring many to get back to real foods. Novice gardeners, urban dwellers, new homesteaders all seek to bring fresh life onto the family table. When our bodies receive the nutrients they need – healing fats, probiotic fermentations, sustaining bone broths, grassfed meats, pastured poultry, wild-caught fish, raw dairy, organic produce, and fermented grains – we can heal as we were designed to from the inside out.

Check out a good food documentary. Be inspired. Keep on that healing path. God guide each of us on our journey toward being whole in Him.

 

 

Easy Soaked Granola – Apple Cinnamon

Has anyone else been searching for an easier way to make soaked granola? I have tried soaking it, then dehydrating it, then making the oats into granola. What a long, unnecessary process! Although the benefits of soaking grains is vital to making all the nutrients bio-available; it need not be a 3 or 4 step process. When eating grains that are unsoaked, it’s like getting only 50% of the nutrients in the grain. However, when you soak them and allow a natural fermentation process to break down anti-nutrients, in effect creating more nutrients ready for absorption, you get almost 100%. With just a little bit of planning, who wouldn’t want more nutrition from the same food?

appleoatcinnamon

Apple Cinnamon Soaked Granola – chewy kind
makes enough for a small army

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut oil
  • 2 cups (about) raw honey
  • 2 tsp Real Salt
  • 2 heaping Tbs cinnamon
  • 1/4 c raw apple cider vinegar
  • 8 – 9 cups oats

Method:

  1. Pour everything except the oats into a large stockpot.
  2. Mix well make sure they are melted, but not past 110 degrees.
  3. Add oats and stir until well coated.
  4. Scoop/pour mixture into (2) 9×13 parchment lined pans.
  5. Cover w/ wrap or something to keep moisture in.
  6. Leave overnight (8-12 hours).
  7. Next morning, preheat oven to 325.
  8. Taking off covers, bake granola in oven for 15 minutes.
  9. Stir granola, then let bake another 5-10 minutes until golden.
  10. Take out of oven, stir to break up clumps ,if you like.
  11. Enjoy!!

This is a basic recipe. Have fun experimenting with it to add your own flare – coconut, nuts, dried fruits, fresh berries…

Natural First Aid Workshop Notes

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Here are the notes from our July workshop. Hope you find it useful!

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First Aid Ideas

  • Bug Spray – DoTerra TerraShield
    • can also make up a blend with purification (purity) oil and Shaklee’s Basic H
  • Cayenne – powder or tincture
    • stops bleeding wounds
    • stops heart attacks
    • also use Shepherd’s Purse
  • People Paste
    • recipe in Be Your Own Doctor – helpful for open wounds to help bleeding and keep out infection
  • Charcoal
    • food poisoning
    • bug bites
  • Bentonite or Redmond’s Clay
    • stomach viruses
    • poisons, chemicals detox
  • Thieves Spray
    • sanitizer
    • sore throats
    • immune booster
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
    • Clean minor cuts/abrasions
    • Ear infections
    • Infections
  • Healing Salve
    • lavender, chamomile, comfrey, calendula, rosemary, arnica
    • bumps, bruises, scratches, promote healing for wounds
  • Comfrey Salve
    • Dr. Christopher’s recipe
    • anti-microbial, promotes healing of any tissues, bones, muscles
    • “knitbone” herb is primary ingredient
  • Snooze Tincture – Bulk Herb Store
    • calming herbs in glycerin for children
  • Essential Oils
    • Lavender – bruise, burn, calming
    • Purity – toxic environments
    • Peppermint – bug bites, poison ivy, nausea, energy
    • Thieves – sickness
    • DiGiz – digestive complaints
    • Peace & Calming, Gentle Baby, Sacred Mt – calming children
  • Home-made band-aids and wraps
    • old towels, napkins, cut-off sleeves from wool sweaters or t-shirts
    • gauze, bandages, superglue, butterfly bandages

Blueberry Chai Frappe

The warmer weather brings about fun flavors that have been hiding away all winter. I am looking forward to seeing colorful vegetables teeming at the farmer’s markets and tasting the unique freshness straight off the farm. Today I thought I would start off with a fun shake to tide me over until all my favorite berries are in season once again. Being in the final days of my pregnancy, I am still trying to shy away from fresh raw dairy and sugar, so this drink is refined sugar and dairy free.

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photo credit

Blueberry Chai Frappe

serves one – yes I actually only made it for myself! I made raw probiotic chocolate milk for the others instead :)

Put all the following in a Bullet or other Blender:

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 heaping TB coconut milk powder
  • 2 raw egg yolks, pastured and fresh
  • dash of stevia
  • 1 tsp of raw honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon spice mix (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves)
  • 1-2 cups filtered water

Mix up for 1 minute and enjoy!

Real Foods Pyramid Overview

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Nourishing Our Children

For those just starting out on a real food journey, I thought this article might be helpful. It’s a contribution I am making to a great local organization to educate and prepare women for the amazing motherhood experience. For more information and classes see: Roots Childbirth of Nashville

The Importance of Eating Real, Traditional Foods During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Real Food Pyramid Brief Overview by the Weston A. Price Foundation

“Please keep in mind that this is a brief overview and our food pyramid does not illustrate all of our dietary recommendations.  We propose that a healthy diet emphasize the foods that are most nutrient dense – those containing high levels of vitamins and minerals: wild caught seafood, and the organ meats, raw dairy,eggs and meat from animals on pasture.  That is why the foundation of our food pyramid pictured above includes some of these items.  A healthy diet consists of whole foods – specifically, whole, raw, milk and milk products that haven’t been pasteurized or homogenized nor reduced in fat content, as well as grass-fed meat with the fat. We would not recommend lean meats or skinless chicken breast, nor a diet that is low in saturated fats or cholesterol.  We propose that organic fruit be eaten more sparingly and that organic grains be sprouted or soaked before used in order to make them more digestible. We would discourage any consumption of trans fat, and margarine, however we do encourage the consumption of traditional fats from animals on pasture such as lard and butter.” – http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Pyramid.html (Nourishing Our Children of the WAPF)

PROTEIN/FATS

As the primary building block to a Real Foods diet, looking at where the protein is coming from is vital. The quality of the protein will ultimately determine whether that protein source will be nourishing or detrimental to mother and baby’s health. Animals fed on an industrial food model (including GMO-corn and food/animal waste products) and living in unsanitary and harmful conditions yield toxic, nutrient poor proteins (meats, dairy, eggs). On the other hand, animals living in their natural habitats, living on a natural diet (out in the pasture) yield proteins that are superior in their rich, nutrient content. For more information see: http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Home.html.

What to Look For in Protein Sources (dairy, eggs, meat, butter):

  • Grass-fed (or Pastured – meaning the animal lives predominantly on green pastures)

  • Organic (no use of GMO corn or soy)

  • Wild-caught (fish are caught in the sea/ocean and not raised on a farm, fed harmful ingredients)

Get Real Milk:

As with meat, not all dairy is raised equally in nutrient content and processing. Dairy that comes from an industrial dairy is ultimately compromised in its nutrient content and devoid of most of the nourishing factors that make this such a healthy product. Industrial dairy in the US is also pasteurized and homogenized – two processes that denature the proteins and fats in the milk and render the end product toxic, rather than healthful. Please read the following article on the difference between consuming organically raised, raw dairy over industrial dairy (and also where to find sources): http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Milk.html. If one is not able to find raw milk, using fermented, organic dairy such as cheeses, yogurts, or kefir would be the next best option.

ORGANIC VEGETABLES

Finding in season, local, organic vegetables is a great way to get nutrient dense food into your diet. Studies have shown that organic vegetables have greater phyto-nutrient content compared to their commercial counterparts. Also equally important,  avoiding any toxins during this time only multiplies the health of the baby and herself.

GRAINS

Looking at the wide array of grain allergies and intolerances we have today begs a closer look at the grain products in the Western diet. Traditional cultures have always soaked, fermented, or sprouted their grains for proper absorption and digestion. Though they did not know it then, these methods also neutralize harmful anti-nutrients (this is the way the seed is designed to preserve itself from spoiling and be able to lay dormant until awakened with water and light) and toxins (one example being gluten) naturally found in most grains (and also in beans, seeds, and legumes). If you are not able to bake your own sourdough (the natural process to ferment flour) bread and grain products, finding a local source for real, sourdough bread would be ideal, or buying only sprouted breads (like Trader Joe’s brand, or Ezekial Breads). Buying grains in their whole form and soaking, then cooking them is superior to buying any already packaged flour/grain product.

Soaking Basics (for beans too):

  • Cover grain with filtered water (leaving about 3 inches extra water standing on top)

  • Add a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar, or fresh lemon juice

  • Allow to sit, loosely covered for 12-24 hours

  • Rinse and cook

HEALTHY TIDBITS:

Lastly, a final note on sweets, salts and oils is important to touch on. Avoiding refined products makes a definite impact on the health of mama and baby. Here is a simple list of healthy options as well as those ones to be avoided.

Healthful Sweeteners, Oils and Salts:

  • Raw Honey

  • Stevia

  • Real Salt, Celtic Salt, Pink Himalayan Salt

  • Coconut Oil:  expeller-pressed

  • Real, extra virgin Olive Oil

  • Sesame Oil – expeller-pressed

To Be Avoided:

  • Refined, white salt

  • Corn syrup – or any syrup other than Grade B Maple Syrup

  • Refined, white and brown sugar

  • Canola, Peanut, Soybean, Corn and all “Vegetable” Oils

LEARN MORE ABOUT REAL FOODS

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t panic! Many resources, tutorials, and videos are out there to help you make  transition to a Real Foods diet.

For a great place to start go to:  http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Resources.html.

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